MEREDITH — Peter Miller has spent much of his life delving into the complexities of human nature.
As a psychologist Miller has both taught the subject as well as counseled people struggling to come to grips with emotional turmoil. Now, Miller brings his insights about the psyche to bear in the just-released "So Fade the Lovely," a mystery set in a fictitious Lakes Region town in the 1960s.
The book's main plot revolves around a family's attempt to learn the fate of a 14-year-old girl who disappeared in a blizzard. Her family hires a psychotherapist to do a psychological post-mortem. Did the girl become disoriented in the blizzard and fall through the ice on Lake Wonalancet? Or did she commit suicide, as some of the writings later found in her dresser would seem to suggest?
"So Fade the Lovely" is based on seven months of journal entries written by Jason Matthews, the psychotherapist hired by Nicole Murdoch's family, and the mystery's protagonist.
"I did borrow extensively from myself (in creating Matthews' character)," Miller says with a grin. "He's somewhat lacking in self-confidence in romantic relationships. Music is terribly important to him. And he's a knowledgeable hiker." But Jason's Matthews is not Miller's alter ego. "He is not hearing impaired, a huge difference. (And) he is nearly a decade older, thus his formative years occurred during the Great Depression and World War II," notes Miller.
While "So Fade the Lovely" marks Miller's debut as a mystery writer, he has one other book out and another one is in the works. Last year he published "Seven Canterbury Tales, Retold" a series of short stories or novellas inspired by the Geoffrey Chaucer classic. Miller's current project is writing a biography of the 19th century Quaker, Jane Durgin. What makes Durgin, who lived in Sandwich, such a compelling figure, says Miller, is that she defied many of the norms of her time, both in terms of her religion as well as her gender.
Like Thomas Edison's definition of genius, Miller's authorship of "So Fades the Lovely" has been 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. The idea for the story had been "percolating in my imagination" for a number of years. In 2008 he took about a year to write the draft. Once the draft was finished he put it aside for a while. He then took a fresh look at it "to see if it would pass muster." He then revised the story and had it ready to be published this past March or April.
While "So Fades the Lovely" hinges on the efforts to unravel the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of a young girl and her family's efforts to cope with her loss, it also relates how as small town and a country struggle to come to grips with the upheavals of change and loss. The people of Dicey's Mill struggle to get back to life as normal which includes once again having fun at Lake Wonalancet, where Nicole Murdoch may have died. And Jason Matthews' journal entries include headlines and commentary on some of the major news events of the mid-1960s, notably the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement.
Sitting on a tall stool pulled up to the kitchen counter in the home Miller and his wife, Dotty Treisner, share with two very friendly golden retrievers, the author says that "So Fades the Lovely" is as much a novel as mystery.
"If the story was limited to the disappearance of the girl and the attempt to solve her disappearance it would have been much less interesting."
"If I were challenged to give a brief answer to 'What is your book about?' I would say, 'The loss of family and the quest for its recovery' – among the Murdochs, within Dicey's Mill, and in America as a whole."
Miller is scheduled to hold the first autograph-signing of "So Fade the Lovely" on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Moulton's Farmstand off Route 25 in Meredith.
The book is available at Innisfree Bookshop, Mill Falls, Meredith; Annie's Book Stop, 1330 Union Ave., Laconia; Bayswater Books, Senter's Marketplace, Center Harbor; Meredith Center Store, Meredith Center Road, Meredith; Moulton Farm, Quarry Road, Meredith, and Sun Day's Salon and Spa, corner of Main Street and Veterans Square, Laconia. It can also be purchased through Amazon.com
Before retiring, Miller was a tenured faculty member at Plymouth State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University and previously served on Meredith's Board of Selectmen.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 02:26
GILFORD — The company that owns Kimball Castle has submitted a draft legal pleading that would have the town in its capacity as trustee of the Kimball Castle Trust ask Superior Court to alter the terms of the trust and allow the company to tear it down.
On yesterday's front page, The Daily Sun ran an incorrect story that said the town has already filed the pleading in Belknap County Superior Court and that is not the case. Rather, the Selectboard has announced it will hold a public hearing on the matter at Town Hall on August 14.
Late Monday afternoon, town officials directed an e-mail "blast" relative to the Kimball Castle to subscribers that featured an announcement of the pubic hearing. Attached were legal documents The Daily Sun mistook for papers the town had already filed with the court. Town Administrator Scott Dunn said on Tuesday, they were "draft" legal documents prepared by attorneys for Kimball Castle Properties, LLC that have been submitted to the town for review and consideration.
The draft "cy pres" pleading would have the town, as trustee, tell the court that Kimball Castle Properties, LLC would continue to provide public access to the 220 acre lot but the company should be allowed to tear the castle down because the original terms of the deed restrictions cannot be met.
Cy pres means "next to" and in law it means that this is the next closest solution because original deed restrictions as the typically apply to gifts and charitable donations cannot be met.
According to the draft pleading, the conditions of the deed restrictions of the charitable trust cannot be met because Kimball Castle Properties, LLC was never able to raise the capital needed to restore the historic structure to a restaurant and lounge. The town's building inspector has condemned the property, which has deteriorated significantly because of weather and vandalism, and ordered the owner to tear it down or install a fence surrounding it to reasonably prevent access.
The first cy pres change to the original charitable donation was made in 1999 when the court allowed the property to be sold to a private party, Historic Inns of New England, LP. The owner of Kimball Castle Properties, LLC is one of the original owners of the limited partnership.
The first change provided the money from the sale be used to maintain most of the property for wildlife observation and recreation trails.
Should the court grant the pleadings in the owner's suggested language, the area will remain open to wildlife observation, emergency access, and recreation, however it may not be subdivided and will be limited to a single family residence.
In an e-mail sent to The Daily Sun, Dunn said the selectmen, in their official capacity as trustees, have not reviewed the suggested pleading. And, to the best of his knowledge, the office of the Attorney General, Division of Charitable Trusts has not reviewed it either.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 02:15
LACONIA — A home which is being built by local builders to benefit the WLNH Children's Auction is rapidly taking shape in the Windermere Ridge development off from Parade Road.
Crews from Hayward and Company Log and Timber Homes have completely framed and roofed what will become a 2,200-square-foot, three bedroom home on Turner Way which will go on the market this fall as the featured property in the 2013 Lakes Region Parade of Homes.
The project is being undertaken by the Lakes Region Builders and Remodelers Association (LRBRA) with the proceeds from the sale going to the 32nd annual auction in December.
''We're making good progress and getting a lot of contributions of time, materials and efforts from our members,'' said Bob Glassett of Pella Windows and Doors, treasurer of the LRBRA, who supervised as members of the association and the Children's Auction board of directors showed up Tuesday afternoon to help clean up the construction site.
He said that Mike Hayward of Hayward Construction volunteered to serve as general contractor for the project which recently had excavation work donated by JF Kimball Excavation LLC and the foundation poured by Southern NH Concrete. Quality Insulation then sealed and insulated the foundation and a large crew from Hayward framed and roofed the house.
Glassett said that from now until the house is completed, every Tuesday afternoon will be a work session for volunteers from the Children's Auction board of directors and members of the association,
He said that he's impressed with the enthusiasm shown for the project and is currently looking for a paving contractor to volunteer to do the access road and parking area.
Dale Squires, executive director of the LRBRA, said that dozens of local firms have pitched in on the project, the most ambitious ever undertaken by the group.
''Harris Family Furniture is completely furnishing the home, so that whoever buys it can move in the day they close on the property,'' said Squires, who said that Baron's Major Brands is supplying appliances.
He said that others who have contributed include, Morin Electric, which will wire the home; Pella Windows and Doors; F.W. Webb; Middleton Lumber; New Hampshire Hardwoods; and Gilford Well; along with several builders and craftsmen — Mask Construction, Twin Oaks Construction, Alan Mann Home Improvements, K.A. Clason Fine Woodworking and Custance Brothers Woodworking.
Known as the Children's Charity House, the home will be marketed for sale by RE/MAX Bayside Realty starting in early fall and will be opened to the public on Columbus Day weekend.
''We're sure that a lot of people are going to be interested in the quality of the materials and workmanship that are going into this home,'' said Squires.
''It's going to have the very best in artwork and furniture and be beautifully landscaped,'' said Squires.
The association purchased the two-acre lot in the Windermere Ridge subdivision at a discounted price and Franklin Savings Bank is financing the purchase of the lot and construction of the house.
Laconia Mayor Michael Seymour, who is a member of the board of directors of the Children's Auction, said that he is tremendously impressed by the support the local builders group has gained for the project and the generosity of businesses which are making donations or providing materials and furnishings at deep discounts.
''It's really an awesome project,'' said Seymour.
Ed Darling, Children's Auction volunteer for 30 years, Laconia Mayor Michael Seymour and Molly King of 98.3 WLNH, help clean up the construction site of the Children's Auction Charity House which is being built in the Windermere Ridge development off from Parade Road in Laconia. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 08:41
TILTON — "It's huge loss to the town," said Pat Consentino, who chairs the Board of Selectmen, in response to the announcement that the Shaw's Supermarket near Exit 20 is one of the six in New Hampshire the company will close by September 2.
"Over the years Shaw's has been very generous to this community and most recently was a strong supporter of our Senior Center," Consentino said, who added that the loss of jobs would also adversely affect the town.
On Monday the company announced that stores in Manchester, Keene, Seabrook, Goffstown and West Lebanon as well as Tilton would be closed. In a prepared statement Steve Sylven, a corporate spokesman, said that "we strive to ensure the success of all our stores, however, it is occasionally necessary for us to close those that are not meeting company goals or that do not fit into our long-term strategy." He added that the six stores have not been profitable for some time.
In fact, Shaw's has been struggling since at least 2006 when the company, consisting of Shaw's and Star Market operated 212 stores in the six New England states, was acquired by Supervalu, Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Soon after the acquisition the firm began closing stores — six in 2006, three in 2007 and four in 2009. In 2010, Shaw's sold most of its 18 stores in Connecticut and trimmed its payroll by 4 percent. In 2012, Shaw's laid off 700 employees and Supervalu disclosed it was seeking a buyer.
In January, Cerberus a private equity firm, acquired Shaw's and Star Market, along with 877 other grocery and drug stores owned by Supervalu for $3.3-billion. By then Shaw's share of the New England market had fallen from 19-percent to 11-percent between 2006 and 2012 while sales dropped from $5.3-billion to $3.8-billion from 2011 to 2012.
When the transaction closed in March, Sylven issued a statement that no stores would be closed or employees terminated, but added "the management teams for both organizations will determine staffing needs and roles/responsibilities for their respective companies. This process may take several months."
Meanwhile, in Tilton, where Shaw's was already competing with both Market Basket and Hannaford, in April Wal-Mart began transforming its store on the west side of Interstate 93 into a Wal-Mart Supercenter by adding 33,000-square-feet, most built to house a grocery department scheduled to open in 2014. Consentino suggested that some of those losing their jobs at Shaw's might find work at Wal-Mart, which expects to add 84 employees.
With the closures, Shaw's operates 27 supermarkets in New Hampshire, two in Belknap County just three miles apart in Belmont and Gilford. In Gilford, Hannaford recently opened a new and larger supermarket on Lake Shore Road, directly across the street from Shaw's, while further down the road Wal-Mart is planning to double the size of its store to create a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 01:50
- David Bartlett named assistant principal at LHS
- Muskrats drop both ends of day-night doubleheader, in separate Mass. cities
- No-wake order lifted on Silver Lake
- High baceteria counts still affecting local beaches
- Police allege drunk driving caused rollover
- Council being asked to close stretch of Strafford Street to on-street parking